Top 10 Things to Know About Full-timing

Top 10 Things to Know About Full-timing

It’s easy to romanticize full-time RVing when a person is first learning about the lifestyle. But what is full-timing really like? What skills are necessary to be successful? And just how do you hit the road with a minimum of pain, anyway?

This top ten list is split into two categories: the process of getting on the road, and the realities of being on the road.

Preparing to Hit the Road

Research, research, research. Research different RV types, sizes, floorplans, and costs. Peruse articles, videos, websites, and forums about those who are already on the road to get a feel for: what the lifestyle is like, how to handle the logistics, and what to take with you on the road. Get involved in the RV community and talk to people about what they like and dislike about their rig.

Trust your intuition. Everyone’s method for hitting the road is unique, and not all of the advice you get from full-timers is going to be right for you. Get out and spend as much time as you can in as many different types of RVs as possible to discover what works best. Take what resonates from others’ ideas and combine them with your own. Don’t be afraid to do it your way.

Top 10 Things to Know About Full-timing

Have a plan. To make the complicated process of going full-time RVing more manageable, start and keep a to-do list. Break the big categories of hitting the road like “downsizing”, “logistics”, and “budgeting” into smaller tasks to reduce stress. Keep up momentum by working on your list a little every day. Set a solid date to hit the road even if it’s years out, that will make your goal feel more real.

Manage fear and doubt. Connect with current and future full-timers to have support when you have questions, feel unsure, or just need to talk to someone who understands what you’re going through. Imagine your worst case scenario, and then put some thought into how you’d handle it if it came to pass. Set aside some money for an RVing emergency fund. Plan your first RV trip close to home to learn how it works before moving into it. Create an exit strategy in case full-timing doesn’t work out for whatever reason.

Enjoy the journey. Don’t try to rush getting on the road, or your results will probably be sub par. Have something on hand to remind you why you’re doing this when your dream seems far away. Don’t get so caught up in preparing for your future on the road that you forget to enjoy the present, get out and enjoy the sights where you are right now.

Top 10 Things to Know About Full-timing

Being on the Road

It’s not Happily Ever After. Your RV will break down, your mail will get lost, the weather won’t cooperate, your site reservation will not be what you expected, you’ll discover you’re on your last pair of underwear when the nearest laundromat is an hour away. Accept that things will go wrong on the road. Roll with the punches, and learn to appreciate where you are and what you have.

It’s not a perpetual vacation. You have to balance work and play, traveling and staying put. Otherwise, you’ll run out of energy or money, or quite possibly both. Watch your savings. Mix adventure days with work, rest, and chore days. Experiment to find your ideal travel schedule and length of stay.

Top 10 Things to Know About Full-timing 1

Flexibility is important. It’s much harder to have firm plans when you’re a full-timer, so learn to appreciate jello plans. Try new things, meet new people, learn new skills, volunteer. Leave some time unscheduled to be spontaneous. The best preparation in the world can not fully anticipate the realities of living this lifestyle, it’s okay to change your RV, your travel style, or what you carry with you once you have some experience.

It can be as social as you want. You can boondock in remote places year-round and never be bothered. You can make a circuit of rallies and gatherings and always be surrounded by people. Make new friends, attend happy hours, never be afraid to say you need alone time, and go back and visit old friends and family as often as you wish.

Becky Schade Xscapers


Becky Schade

Becky Schade has been a full-time RVer since 2012, her current rolling home is a teardrop trailer. She writes at about travel, work, and life, and has published two books.

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12 Responses to “Top 10 Things to Know About Full-timing

  • Becky Schade
    Karsten Poser
    5 years ago

    One of us can’t count. I see only 9 short paragraphs in this article, and I guess each paragraph is supposed to cover one of the “Top 10 Things.” What am I missing?

  • We full timed for over 12 years after retiring. Traveled all the continental US & Canada, but still didn’t see everything…had a great time! My wife needed a sewing room, so now have a landlocked home. we had most “mishaps” plus a lot of fun…on Pike’s Peak for the “Race to the Clouds,” Cheyenne Frontier Days, Habitat for Humanity builds, etc.

  • Becky Schade
    Terry Edwards
    5 years ago

    Very well written. Thought provoking! We just started full timing one month ago. It is a learning experience each day.

  • Excellent tips. Have been enjoying Ms. Schade’s site/blog for several years.

  • Becky Schade
    Michael Title
    5 years ago

    Great article. I’ve been full time since 2008. I strongly recommend going to the closest RV Park and Boondock/dry camping in the park for at least a week. That way there are plenty of people to ask and you have the park facilities just in case (water, electricity and sewer). You’ll also learn what you need and what you don’t need.

    Safe travels.

    Michael Title
    05 Country Coach Inspire
    Tow car – 2013 Ford Edge

  • Perfect timing of this article for me. Thank you. I am 3 years away from hitting the road full time and I have been doing my research. Still have many questions and ideas. Thanks for suggesting to pick a “firm date” to shove off and to put together my to do list. Thanks again!

  • Becky, Loved your article. Would like to share it with the Facebook group “Full Time RV Living”, would that be OK?

  • Becky Schade
    Gregory Smith
    5 years ago

    This is very good information. After 40 years in the Air Force, I’m selling my “sticks and bricks” to start full time RVing next Spring. I’m single, my kids are grown up and very good jobs. I lost my wife to Brain Cancer about six months ago following a 10 year battle, but she told me to “get that RV you’ve always wanted”, so I’m doing just that! I agree with trusting my instinct, sticking to a plan, but plan to wander and enjoy what I’m seeing and doing. Thank you!

  • Experiment. Find out what you like and don’t like. Once you find your pace learn to track that pace and jump start the enjoyment process of being in the present.

    Enjoy the moments you have… those are the only ones you really possess. The past is in the past and the future is in the future. Keep moving into the future and enjoy the moments as the ride you along on the crest of the present wave.

    Eventually the wave may creat over you and you must be willing to take the crush without being devastated. It’s just a part of life. Lick your wounds and get back up on the next wave for another great ride.


  • Gregory;
    I feel your pain sir, lost my wife of 53 years (high school sweetheart) 8 months ago. traveling Europe and the Balkans on motorcycle right now but early 2020 returning to the states for Class B. let’s try to keep moving forward with no worries.

  • Becky Schade
    5 years ago

    Becky, great article!! You were the first person that we recognized on you tube and when we saw you in Carlsbad you gave us some great advice when we first started full timing 2 years ago. Just keeps getting better!

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